About a week before Samsung’s highly anticipated Galaxy Fold hits the consumer market, a few journalists seem to be experiencing issues with their review units. And it doesn’t look good…
The journalists reviewing the foldable smartphone took to Twitter to highlight some potentially major hardware issues after a few days of use. The problems all concern the interior, tablet-like display… which is the main reason anyone would want to buy the phone in the first place. It’s too early to tell how widespread the issue is, and whether it’ll affect any of the unit that’ll be sold to the public from next week, but this is what we know so far:
Don’t remove the fake screen protector
Some reviewers encountered issues after removing what appeared to be a plastic screen-protector film from the Galaxy Fold’s interior display. It turns out it’s not supposed to be removed and is actually a pretty important piece of hardware — something Samsung calls a “polymer layer”. But many didn’t realise that…
The phone comes with this protective layer/film. Samsung says you are not supposed to remove it. I removed it, not knowing you’re not supposed to (consumers won’t know either). It appeared removable in the left corner, so I took it off. I believe this contributed to the problem. pic.twitter.com/fU646D2zpY
— Mark Gurman (@markgurman) April 17, 2019
The Verge’s Dieter Bohn encountered a mysterious bulge protruding from beneath the Galaxy Fold’s creased screen. This is less of a user-induced problem, and rather a production problem. Bohn mentioned that Samsung has sent him a replacement device and is investigating what caused the problem with the first unit.
SUPER YIKES: something happened to my Galaxy Fold screen and caused a bulge. I don’t know how it happened, and I’m waiting to hear back from Samsung. It’s broken. https://t.co/p1014uB01D pic.twitter.com/3FZJkWtSKr
— Dieter Bohn (@backlon) April 17, 2019
Samsung issued a statement to the Verge saying that it’ll “thoroughly inspect [the review] units in person”. Which doesn’t offer any answers as to what caused the bulge problem. The company did, however, clarify the ‘screen protector’ ordeal in an official statement.
“Separately, a few reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen. The main display on the Galaxy Fold features a top protective layer, which is part of the display structure designed to protect the screen from unintended scratches. Removing the protective layer or adding adhesives to the main display may cause damage. We will ensure this information is clearly delivered to our customers.”
The shiny side up
Of course, there are other review units of the Galaxy Fold doing the rounds that are behaving themselves. But it’s still worrying that problems are cropping up with some so close to the official release… especially as these are $2,000 devices. We’re sure whatever the problems are they’ll be ironed out for Mark II, but it’s a reminder that being an early adopter is risky.
Lots of reports emerging about problems with the Samsung Galaxy Fold screen.
— Geoffrey A. Fowler (@geoffreyfowler) April 17, 2019
…mine still seems ok so far pic.twitter.com/A9201hPHmm
— Mike Murphy (@mcwm) April 17, 2019
In March, Samsung released a video demonstrating the durability tests it applied to the Galaxy Fold’s mechanical hinge, folding the smartphone 200,000 times to simulate five years of use.
We will have to wait and see how the market reacts to the Galaxy Fold, which launches in South Africa on 9 May. Early adopters better get their wallets ready, because this one will put a proper dent in your account. We don’t know local pricing — we’ll get it on 23 April at the South African launch event — but we’re expecting it to be somewhere between R35,000 and R40,000.